A slightly plaintiff and frustrated tweet from grumpystorage aka @ianhf inspired this blog as did replies from various of the storage twitteratti. Ian cries the lonely cry of the infrastructure architect:
‘Application architects – please know & understand your infrastructure requirements. Infrastructure isn’t magic or telepathic!’
And of course, IaaS and PaaS are then held up as potential solutions to the problem. I’ve got bad news; they’re not! Cloud Architectures are neither magic or telepathic, they still rely on application developers and architects understanding their infrastructure requirements.
Now we, in the infrastructure world can help them by educating in the questions that they both need to ask and also need to answer. Questions like, what availability does your application require? What is it’s throughput? Have you designed an application which scales either horizontally or vertically? Infrastructure Architects have always had to work in a consultative manner and drag the requirements from the Application teams.
All providers of infrastructure need to understand the importance of this; nothing will destroy the credibility of Cloud Architectures quicker than the inappropriate and unplanned deployment of applications into the Cloud.
I think there is a temptation that we represent the Cloud as Magic Smoke where things happen but just look at the backlash when Gmail goes down? Fortunately for Google; people have become so reliant on Gmail, beyond a bit of moaning, few people will really change but a Corporate taking their first steps into the Cloud who loses a key application or a key application under performs may well be more unforgiving.
Push button deployment without the consultative input of the Infrastructure Architects guiding could end up in a world of pain and it won’t be the application at fault, it will be the Infrastructure.